Wind energy

The Dutch government is accelerating the energy transition towards a CO2-free energy system in 2050. In that scenario, offshore wind energy will produce the majority of the renewable energy production for the Netherlands. TNO Wind Energy focuses on the development of offshore wind energy, where cost reduction and improving efficiency are as important as integrating offshore wind power in the energy system as well as in the environment.

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Behind the scenes at our expertise group Wind Energy.

The development of the large and effective offshore wind farms are supported by TNO technology, but also new and exciting technologies that may become important after 2030 are part of the research focus. Robotics, kite power, 20-30MW wind turbines, multi-rotor wind turbines and smart materials play a prominent role. TNO technology is important for the development of a sustainable energy system.

Offshore wind farms

TNO Wind Energy is world’s third largest research group working on offshore wind farms. The technology that we have developed is implemented in commercial products. Examples are blade and controller designs, design of the support structure, the use of our design tools for optimizing the largest turbines in the world and creating optimal installation and O&M strategies. In 2019 we were proud to license the wind farm control technology to optimize the production of offshore wind farms which was patented by ECN many years ago. TNO assists in the optimization of wind farms and performs long-term LiDAR measurements on offshore platforms to accurately determine the wind conditions up to large altitudes for the Dutch wind farm development zones.

Creating value to wind energy

Offshore wind farms will occupy large areas on the North Sea and deliver significant amount of energy to the energy system. The integration in the energy system and ecology requires innovations. TNO is developing innovations for flexibility. A wind in the grid integration field lab is being established in collaboration with Wageningen University. Another topic is the integration of wind power and solar power on a single connection point to the grid, effectively reducing the need for increasing the grid capacity. The multi-functional use of space is addressed by creating nature in offshore wind farms and the combination with seaweed farming.

Breakthrough technologies

TNO assists in stretching the boundaries of current horizontal axis, three-bladed, downwind wind turbines to 12MW and beyond. Offshore wind development after 2030 will require groundbreaking, beyond state of the art technologies to maintain the tremendous pace of offshore wind development and meet the goals of a CO2 neutral society in 2050. TNO is engaged in development of new and innovative technology in order to anticipate on the after 2030 era and develop technologies that are then needed. Although in the current market these technologies do not have a business case, new and non-conventional technologies need to be developed for offshore wind energy.

Our expertise in wind energy research

  • Design of offshore wind farms
  • TNO develops and operates its own design tools for wind farm yield calculations including advanced wake models
  • Design of wind turbines, controllers and components
  • TNO develops and operates its own design tools over a large range of design challenges: airfoil design, blade design, controller design and wind turbine design
  • Design of support structures
  • Design of installation and operation and maintenance strategies, for which TNO develops and operates its own design tools
  • Health monitoring methods and technologies
  • Design of electrical grid and integration in the energy system, for which TNO develops and operates advanced models
  • Validation techniques to verify and validate innovations so that these are introduced in the market. Examples are LiDAR measurements and fiber optic strain gauge measurements
  • TNO is accredited for power performance measurements and load measurements on wind turbines
  • Technology and tools for the assessment of end-of-life solutions and LCA

Towards large-scale generation of wind energy

The Dutch government has agreed with the energy sector that the near future will already see that energy generated from sustainable sources will be a substantial share of the energy mix. The future Dutch energy... Read more


Dr. Marc Langelaar